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Uncle Bill: The Authorised Biography of Field Marshal Viscount Slim Hardcover – 8 Aug 2013

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Uncle Bill: The Authorised Biography of Field Marshal Viscount Slim + Defeat Into Victory: (Pan Military Classics Series) + Slim, Master of War: Burma, 1942-5: Burma and the Birth of Modern Warfare
Price For All Three: £41.97

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: W&N; 1st Edition edition (8 Aug. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0297865846
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297865841
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 4.1 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 185,076 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Last year, a poll at the National Army Museum to determine Britain's greatest general ended in a tie between Wellington and Slim. This biography will do much more to tip the scales. It pays magnificent tribute to Slim in a very well-informed assessment of what he did to deserve this accolade. It is a most exciting read, full of vivid, even lurid descriptions of the sufferings inflicted by the terrain and the climate as well as by the bestiality of the Japanese enemy... [a] forcefully written biography (Peter Lewis DAILY MAIL)

readable, well-constructed and robustly... expressed (Andro Linklater THE SPECTATOR)

Precision and easy-going style have added appreciably to the historical record of `Uncle Bill` Slim and the extraordinary skill and fortitude of his campaigns. (Andrew Lycett LITERARY REVIEW)

Russell Miller gives an admirable account. (Piers Brendon THE OLDIE)

Last year, a poll at the National Army Museum to determine Britain's greatest general ended in a tie between Wellington and Slim. This biography will do much more to tip the scales. It pays magnificent tribute to Slim in a very well-informed assessment of what he did to deserve this accolade. It is a most exciting read, full of vivid, even lurid descriptions of the sufferings inflicted by the terrain and the climate as well as by the bestiality of the Japanese enemy... [a] forcefully written biography (Peter Lewis Daily Mail)

readable, well-constructed and robustly... expressed (Andro Linklater The Spectator)

Precision and easy-going style have added appreciably to the historical record of `Uncle Bill` Slim and the extraordinary skill and fortitude of his campaigns. (Andrew Lycett Literary Review)

Russell Miller gives an admirable account. (Piers Brendon The Oldie)

Book Description

Masterly biography of the 'greatest commander of the 20th century'.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mr. W. R. Clare on 31 Dec. 2013
Format: Hardcover
Many, many years ago I read Defeat into Victory, Bill Slim's own account of the Burma Campaign. It is a remarkable story and now this is followed by Russell Miller's biography. I, like my father before me, revered Slim. Human and humane and probably far and away the best senior commander since Wellington, Uncle Bill was a much more pleasant and down to earth individual.

He inspected a parade when I was at Sandhurst and his address to the cadets was nothing less than brilliant.

You may have little interest in military history, but this biography reads like a thrilling novel and even though I have studied the campaign in detail I could not put it down. I wanted to know what was about to happen next (yet I knew, objectively, the sequence of events).

A fantastic book about the kind of man one meets regrettably few times in a lifetime. If you want to learn about leadership forget about the all too frequent jargon laden business guru self promotion and read about one of our greatest true leaders.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By John Sweeney on 5 Nov. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Russell Miller - the author of the definitive book on Church of Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard, Bare-Faced Messiah - has done a brilliant job in telling the life of Bill Slim, the greatest general in British military history, the leader of the forgotten 14th Army who triumphed against the Japanese Army in Burma. They went 1,000 miles backwards - the longest retreat - and 1,000 miles forward, the longest advance. Throughout the worst of times, Uncle Bill kept his integrity and his great sense of humour.

At times I laughed out loud, at times I was close to tears in reading this great story, told by one of the great story-tellers alive today.

Read it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By catholic reader on 23 May 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Slim's standing as a military commander, leaders and all round 'good bloke' seems to grow and grow. A few acquaintences who had served in the 14th Army, and who were far from naive or easily impressionable, and by the time I knew them had been afforded plenty time to ponder on their youthful experiences did seem to hold Slim in the respect and affection that this book makes out was widespread. As an Authorised biography it does appear lacking in criticism, and what criticism of Slim's actions that appear in the book almost always seem to come from Slim himslef - and as anyone who has read Deafeat into Victory will be aware, Slim was quite hard on himself when reviewing his past actions. This book is easy to read, it perhaps over simplifies some of the battles fought, but in understanding the man himself it may not be necessary to go into great detail - and as an overview it reads all the better for this simplicity. Clearly written, a few annoyng errors (e.g. the Japanese using "stukas' - one assumes a mistaken general term for 'dive bombers' -although the British use 'dive bombers'). few books make me ignore pressing paperwork on my desk to 'sneak' a read at the next few pages (inevitably becoming the next chapter or so) - thisone did, as a reflection of the subject matter and the clarity of the writing. A very good read indeed
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Colin Chetwood on 11 Oct. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Long overdue biography of a general who in my view was one of the best of the 2nd world war.
Very interesting and if anything increased my respect for the amazing achievements that led to the defeat of the Japanese armies in Burma.

We all owe him a debt.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Discerning Buyer on 13 Jun. 2014
Format: Paperback
As with others, I too am personally interested in Bill Slim as my father arrived in Burma just in time for the Battle of the Admin Box and, as a boy, I heard lots of stories about patrols/digging in/standing to and the Japanese screams/shouts at night as well as how confusing and frightening the fighting was. Having read "Defeat into Victory" and "Slim, Master of War" I was interested in how Russell Miller would approach his subject. Well, I was not disappointed: I just could not put the book down. How Slim stood up to the pressure I really do not know - especially with some of the infighting. The main thing that detracts from the book is, as another reviewer has pointed out, the lack of detailed maps and plans - for which I deducted a star. In the end though, I used those in "Defeat into Victory" which was not ideal. However, this is not to detract from the text of the book which is very well written and the subject matter an inspiration to anyone.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By P. O'sullivan on 25 Oct. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My father served in a mobile field hospital under Slim from India all way through Burma to Malaya from 1943-45. He reviewing the book now, and so far is immeasurably imprsssed. I am sure he will find many memory-jogging details in the book about the 'forgotten armies' in 1945.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ann Macnaughtan on 11 Oct. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book because my uncle was involved in Burma in the war. I was not disappointed. My only slight disappointment was that there was no obvious way to send an email to the author to answer one of my questions. Other than that - buy -read- enjoy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robert Goldfield on 31 Oct. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I could not put this down and had to buy a map of Burma to follow the story. A man who made the most of his genius, was brave and modest and clearly loved his men and honoured them. A truely fastinating person and a rivetting story
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